Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have seen their summer opportunities canceled or postponed. While there are still many ways to make the most of an internless summer—including networking, getting a head start on studying for graduate entrance exams, or developing your skills in the Career Center’s Praxis summer program—one way to stay involved is to volunteer.
Boston College calls on its community to be people for others, and because of the disruption caused by COVID-19, BC students have been eager to serve their communities in this trying time. Volunteering is a great way to get involved, serve your community, and develop skills, especially if your original summer plans have been canceled. So what can you do to be of service? There are a number of opportunities across a range of industries. Here are some resources:
- VolunteerMatch keeps an updated list of both virtual (almost 250,000!) and local opportunities to serve others during the pandemic. These include a range of industry-specific volunteer opportunities in education, media, and more.
- Check out the Volunteer and Service Learning Center’s Volunteer Database.
- Apply your language skills with Translation Without Borders, which depends on volunteers to translate millions of words and to help run the organization. The organization works with volunteers who have all kinds of great skills, and many learn new skills that they can apply later!
Communication, Arts, and Media Resources
- Start a virtual art club, like this one, for your community. Art is a great way to express yourself during social distancing times and could be a welcome project for children learning at home!
- Get creative and share your talents! Artists have found creative ways to offer hope amid the COVID-19 crisis, and now is a great time to share your own musical and artistic abilities to bring joy to others.
- Consider joining the Smithsonian Digital Volunteers. Digital Volunteers take on important assignments to expand access to the Smithsonian’s massive collections and participate in a variety of research programs.
Education, Nonprofit, and Social Services Resources
- Idealist, a nonprofit and policy careers page, recently introduced a dedicated COVID-19 page with remote and in-person opportunities to volunteer across a range of nonprofit issue areas.
- Volunteers For Peace organizes, promotes, and supports voluntary service opportunities in the U.S. and abroad as an effective means of intercultural education, service learning, and community development.
- The Catholic Volunteer Network has over 185 different programs in its community. So, you have a wide variety of service opportunities to choose from.
- The Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 text line for people in crisis in the United States. Remote volunteers answer texts from people in crisis and assist them through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning.
Government, Law, and Public Policy Resources
- If safe to do so, consider volunteering in a mutual aid society, which works to assist local communities, and particularly essential workers and people most at-risk. You can access a national database of mutual aid societies at MutualAidHub.org, while a comprehensive list of local COVID-19 mutual aid societies in Massachusetts can be accessed here. Additionally, this database has information about mutual aid best practices and tips on how to join local associations.
- Become a United Nations Volunteer. The UN Volunteers Programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteering allows organizations and volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges from anywhere in the world, on any device.
- Applications for the U.S. Government’s Virtual Student Federal Service open in July. Applicants are able to work on projects to support a number of different agencies across the federal government.
Healthcare and Nursing Resources
- The Red Cross has an urgent need for volunteers to support blood donations and deliver disaster services to communities. They also have a variety of remote opportunities available.
Science, Technology, and Engineering Resources
- Amnesty Decoders, from Amnesty International, is an innovative platform that allows volunteers around the world to use their computers or phones to help researchers analyze data and, including pictures, texts, and documents.
- Several organizations, including Tech Impact and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, list a range of virtual volunteer opportunities.
- Now is also a great time to apply your tech, programming, and broader scientific skills to assist others from afar. Check out these articles from The Scientist, Protocol, and Fast Company for advice on how to contribute your skills and expertise.
We also recognize that longer-term service and volunteer work might also be a post-grad goal. Learn more about these opportunities from alumni who have served, as well as the costs and benefits of a year of service.
As always, we encourage you to reflect on your interests and to explore opportunities with our team! You are always welcome to schedule an appointment with a career coach to discuss opportunities and next steps.